A run alongside water seems to lift the spirits more than most, and to have an iconic landmark bridge as backdrop is a bonus.
Most days I travel across one of the bridges that cross the Firth of Forth, making my way from Edinburgh to Fife, and regardless of weather I never tire of the view.
I realise I might be reinforcing expectations of Scotland’s weather to say that on many days I am looking at hues of grey, but maybe I just remember these more than the crisp blue skies or spectacular sunsets. And it seems as if the road bridge has been painted Scottish sky grey, to complement the backdrop and with the soft East coast light and ever shifting clouds the sky-scape is anything but dull.
The evening return crossing often coincides with the beginnings of a sunset, sun shimmering on the water below.
Travelling daily I had often wondered what it might be like to run across the road bridge as on most days there are runners, walkers and cyclists making the journey regardless of weather conditions. So in December of 2012 I did run across the bridge as part of a daily December running challenge and ticked that off my ‘to do’ list.
Most Fridays I cross the rail bridge, and dream of staying on beyond my stop, as the journey north to Aberdeen is magical and much of the route is close to the coast.
So I am a Forth bridge fan – or more accurately a Forth bridges fan- as I love both the road and rail bridges in different ways. Both bridges are examples of great design and engineering, the suspension road bridge gracefully spanning the waters – our own gateway bridge- looking across to its older more established cantilever brother- with its picture postcard red ironwork, an incredible feat of engineering and construction in its day.
So recently when two of our running group moved out of town, we started looking for different weekend routes to mix things up a bit. Linda and Rosie now both live quite close to South Queensferry, the southern home of the bridges, and we have found a new favourite weekend run route that follows the coast along the edge of the Forth.
The undulating path hugs the coast and sometimes dips into woodland, and if you were to follow the full route it would take you right back to Edinburgh.
We have done this route a couple of times now and each time been lucky with the weather. There is something quite special about running next to water and this run also gives you a great view of the Forth rail bridge from a different perspective.
It is a fairly easy run with a good path and the woodland sections at this time of year create a bright green canopy- then at just under 2 miles the path turns a corner to a small promontory, opening out to a great view of the Forth estuary and Edinburgh silhouetted in the distance.